From desperate to dire, time is fast running out to save a generation of performers in Australia's ailing arts and entertainment industry.
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance members on Tuesday gave evidence to the coronavirus Senate inquiry on Tuesday, reiterating calls for targeted federal government support.
Actor Nadine Garner, who has spent the past 35 years on Australian screens and stages, criticised the decision to exempt swathes of artists and performers from wage subsidies.
"We just don't have long-term contracts that leave a 12-month footprint on a payroll," she told the hearing.
"Therefore, you're really exposing the most vulnerable once again to no support network."
Folk musician Ruth Hazleton said many of the venues she usually played at had been put on the market, with live music already on its knees on the way into the crisis.
"We're in a really, really dire situation in the live music industry," she told senators.
She blamed successive governments for cutting arts funding before the pandemic shut gigs down.
MEAA chief executive Paul Murphy said the federal government's promised help package was yet to be delivered.
"It was desperate months ago. It's dire," he told the committee.
"Many businesses will not survive. A generation of creative workers will be lost to the industry and our country will be poorer for that."
The union is calling for the government to underwrite insurance for productions, with coronavirus making premiums unavailable or prohibitive.
Certainty on local content quotas, tax incentives and offsetting location costs are also high MEAA's wishlist.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said creative industries had seen no change back to normal with coronavirus restrictions still in place.
"We are calibrating and targeting how we're going to provide that support and we're working on those responses right now and we'll announce them in July," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Production designer Fiona Donovan said she missed out on both JobKeeper and JobSeeker when the reboot of Packed to the Rafters was shut down.
"My husband earns like $2 too much. I've gone down to nearly no income," she told the inquiry.
"Of the 10 people in the art department on that show none of them were eligible for JobKeeper and very few were eligible for JobSeeker for the same reason - their partner earns too much."
Mr Murphy said many permanent performers had been forced into being dependent on their partner.
"That is just wrong," he said.